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The Inclusive Education Project

University of Aberdeen

(Post-Graduate Diploma in Education, primary and secondary (2006-2010)

Led by Professor Lani Florian and Professor Martyn Rouse. A research and development project concerned with fostering a new approach to initial teacher education. At the University of Aberdeen, the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) Primary (5-11) and Secondary (11-17) programmes have been combined into one single initial teacher education programme with an enhanced university-based curriculum designed to ensure issues of inclusion are fully addressed within the core of the programme. The study involves a mixed-method programme of research that asks a series of questions relating to the key challenges associated with preparing teachers for inclusive education.

 One part of this wider study focuses on a course of Further Professional Studies inspired by Learning Without Limits, introduced for the first time in 2007-8. The course is designed to encourage exploration of how it is possible to create inclusive learning environments without relying on ability or attainment as organising principles. Researchers were interested in how student teachers would engage with the core idea of transformability in their teaching; how they would respond when pupils experienced difficulties in learning; how they worked collaboratively with others, particularly colleagues in learning support (special education) and/or classroom teachers who were committed to ability grouping as a means of differentiating learning. Data were collected by audio-recording the tutorial sessions and class discussions. Verbatim transcripts are being analysed using both deductive and inductive procedures for evidence that the course reforms have been embedded in the curriculum; to search for contradictions in the reformed curriculum; and to identify areas that might benefit from future development work.

Published papers

Florian, L., & Rouse, M., (2009). The inclusive practice project in Scotland: Teacher education for inclusive education, Teaching and Teacher Education 25(4), 594-601.